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  1. #1

    Default Is St. Louis the Next Detroit?

    I have never been to St. Louis but I found an interesting story today about the population decline of St. Louis. They were expecting a population increase in the 2010 Census but instead got an 8% decrease. Will they be the next Detroit?

    http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/2011/02/...r-last-decade/

    Figures from the 2010 census were a bitter disappointment, as the city’s population dipped to 319,294.

    ...

    “It is absolutely bad news,” Mayor Francis Slay said. “We thought after more than 50 years of population decline that the city had finally changed direction. Obviously, that’s not the case.”

    The census numbers are more than an ego shot to a community already fighting an image of high crime and poorly performing schools.

    Federal funding for many of the city’s programs is tied to population.
    “It will mean a significant loss in federal dollars over the next 10 years,” Slay said.

    St. Louis was the nation’s eighth-largest city with a population of 856,795 in 1950. Now, for a couple of decades, it hasn’t even been Missouri’s largest city

  2. #2

    Default Re: Is St. Louis the Next Detroit?

    St Louis is doing just fine. The city itself might be shrinking a bit but the suburbs are strong.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Is St. Louis the Next Detroit?

    Then you should say the metro area of Saint Louis is doing fine; strong suburbs don't make the city proper strong.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Is St. Louis the Next Detroit?

    I've been there many times and St Louis is already the crime capital of the US....first time I went to a super market in the middle of the day, I thought there had been a robbery or something. There were so many police present...found out that's a the norm because of the black crime, etc.

    Add some factory closings and it could very easily become Detriot....but then, couldn't they all....that will be part of the great decline.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Is St. Louis the Next Detroit?

    Quote Originally Posted by bretthexum View Post
    St Louis is doing just fine. The city itself might be shrinking a bit but the suburbs are strong.
    Even suburban Detroit is doing fine, Detroit is still in the tank though.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Is St. Louis the Next Detroit?

    So then the point of this thread becomes St. Louis is very black, therefore white flight ensues and clearly it is headed into the crime and economic abyss. Glad to see that the left and right can unite behind at least one thing... prejudice.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Is St. Louis the Next Detroit?

    If Detroits suburbs are doing fine, then why is Michigan's population declining?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Is St. Louis the Next Detroit?

    Quote Originally Posted by dismayed View Post
    So then the point of this thread becomes St. Louis is very black, therefore white flight ensues and clearly it is headed into the crime and economic abyss. Glad to see that the left and right can unite behind at least one thing... prejudice.
    I think you have to look to the individual - and the individual situation under scrutiny.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Is St. Louis the Next Detroit?

    I live in suburban St. Louis and feel obligated to respond to this post. St. Louis is NOT Detroit. I have been to Detroit and there isn't 10% of that city proper that is acceptable in terms of safety, quality of life.

    The city of St. Louis is shrinking, has been for years, probably will for years to come. This is typical of old, industrial cities with hemmed-in borders. Seriously, the city is about 60 square miles and has been built-out for 100 years. If you go into many older parts of the city, they have been rehabbed and are beautiful and lively. Why is the population shrinking? Because 4-family flats are being renovated into duplexes, flop boarding houses are being rehabbed into single family homes. People are having fewer children then in generations past and they are having them in the suburbs. The city schools are terrible and many if the Catholic ones have consolidated.

    I would also say this about statistics of all types. Look how lack of density hurts OKC, we've talked about that forever on this forum. The reverse is the problem in St. Louis. The city itself is so small and the "bad" neighborhoods are so concentrated there, it makes for all these unfortunate news articles. St. Louis county which surrounds the city (and where I live) is, many years, the safest county in America with over 1 million population.

    St. Louis has been battered in this economy but it's an outstanding place to live. I have never felt unsafe, never lacked for anything to do, never been sorry that Lived here. Just my two cents.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Is St. Louis the Next Detroit?

    The real question is what will happen to St Louis when Pujols signs with the Yankees?...lol

  11. #11

    Default Re: Is St. Louis the Next Detroit?

    LOL Easy 180...now you're talking about a subject that really gets St. Louis's blood boiling. To hell with the census!

  12. #12

    Default Re: Is St. Louis the Next Detroit?

    stlokc, the description you provided sounds very much like Milwaukee, a city I rave about.

    The suburbs are growing and the city is shrinking in population and most people that live in the out-lying areas will tell you it's going down hill. But the truth is that is a very vibrant, urban community that is simply no longer the place where middle class parents with school-aged kids desire to live, as it's generally cheaper and easier to live in an independent school district.

    So instead, you see lots of young people, lots of empty-nesters and lots of the working class living within city limits. At the same time, there is a tremendous amount of infill development, culture and nightlife in the city. In fact, it gives the people in the 'burbs a place to go and do things when they tire of the strip center and chain restaurants.

    If OKC weren't so big geographically -- in other words, if it was the same size as STL or MKE -- you'd see the exact same trends. People long ago left the OKC schools and are now starting to flee the Putnam City area as well. Most of the growth is in Moore, Edmond, Norman and Yukon & Mustang. It's just that a big part of these independent school districts are actually within the OKC city limits.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Is St. Louis the Next Detroit?

    Here's a quick comparison... The City of St. Louis has 61.9 square miles of land mass. That is about 8 miles squared.

    If you overlay that area on OKC, the city boundaries would be 50th on the North, Portland on the west, 59th on the south and Sunnylane / Coltrane to the east. In other words, about the only school district included would be OKC public schools.

    How much do you think that area has grown in population in the last 10, 20, 30 or even 40 years?

  14. #14

    Default Re: Is St. Louis the Next Detroit?

    Pete- As usual with your various analyses, you have brilliantly nailed it! I personally have known dozens of young people who have lived in the city as singles or very young families and have moved west when children are school age. The comparison of square mileage is right on - the city and the city schools have the exact same boundaries, and the age and demographics of the city are likely in-line with the part of inner OKC you have laid out. In explaining this to my OKC family and friends, I usually use "inside Grand Blvd" as the comparison. One minor difference - because the city is so old and so dense, the majority of the city proper is apartments and there are far fewer single family homes than you see in
    OKC.

    Here's an interesting thing. The newspaper this morning, in an exhaustive study of this topic, highlighted that the most urban neighborhoods, the ones downtown and in midtown, the population exploded. Lots of rehabs of warehouses, infill mid-rises, etc. Far higher than in 2000. The drop-off was in the rough, northern half and in the old neighborhoods in the south with a lot of elderly.

    I think STL and Milwaukee are likely very similiar, although my only experience with Milwaukee was just a drive-through. I'd like to go back.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Is St. Louis the Next Detroit?

    stlokc - thanks for the response.

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